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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY

Interview with Governor Malloy; Interview With Jon Huntsman; Interview with Rep. Diaz-Balart, Rep. Gutierrez

Aired April 7, 2013 - 09:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CANDY CROWLEY, HOST: As the U.S. Senate prepares to debate gun control, some states move on their own. Are they leading the way or setting the bar too high?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY (voice-over): Today, required paperwork to buy bullets, a ten-round limit on magazines. In the capital of Hartford, less than 50 miles from the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary, Connecticut's governor signs stiff new gun restrictions into law and looks to see who will follow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope that this is an example to the rest of the nation, certainly, to our leaders in Washington who seem so deeply divided.

CROWLEY: Our Sunday exclusive with Connecticut governor, Dan Malloy.

Then, North Korea reportedly moves medium-range missile launchers to its east coast. The U.S. sends military assets to the region while North Korea's neighbor and ally, China, expresses grave concern. Former ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, weighs in on tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

Plus, immigration reform, the House version. Two key members working on a compromise tell us what they've got and how it jives or doesn't with Senate efforts.

And, our political panel on the reemergence of Hillary Clinton, private citizen, the emerging Obama budget, and why there is no emergence of jobs.

I'm Candy Crowley, and this is STATE OF THE UNION.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY (on-camera): With some of the parents of Sandy Hook looking on the Connecticut governor enacted some of the toughest gun laws in the country this week, that includes the addition of more than 100 weapons to the state assault weapons ban, including the bushmaster, one of the guns used at Sandy Hook. It bans the sales of magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition, requires a certificate to buy ammunition and bans armor-piercing bullets. Joining me now from Hartford, Connecticut is Governor Dan Malloy. Thank you so much for joining us. It was a big week for you, and you got some of what you wanted, maybe not as far as you wanted to go. I wanted to play for you the reaction of Wayne Lapierre who, as you know, is the head of the National Rifle Association and his critique of the bill that you passed in Connecticut.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WAYNE LAPIERRE, EXEC. V.P./CEO, NRA: Well, I think the problem what Connecticut did, Megan, is the criminals, the drug dealers, the people that are going to do horror and terror, they aren't going to cooperate. I mean, all you're doing is making the law books thicker for the law-abiding people. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Within the legislation that you signed into law, do you think it's tougher on law-abiding citizens or on the criminals who want to use those guns?

MALLOY: Well, it's probably a little tougher on everybody. I mean, you know, Wayne reminds me of the clowns at the circus. They get the most attention, and that's what he's paid to do. But the reality is is that the gun that was used to kill 26 people on December 14th was legally purchased in the state of Connecticut, even though, we had an assault weapons ban.

But, you know, there were loopholes in it that you could drive a truck through. I mean, this guy is so out of whack. It's unbelievable. Ninety-two percent of the American people want universal background checks. I can't get on a plane as the governor of the state of Connecticut without somebody running a background check on me.

Why should you be able to buy a gun or buy, you know, armor- piercing munitions? It doesn't make any sense. He doesn't make any sense, thus, my reference to the circus.

CROWLEY: Let me ask you, as you know, the NRA sponsored a plan that they put out this week. Asa Hutchinson put it out. It was a school safety shield press conference. And, a Newtown dad was there, Mark Mattioli whose six-year-old son, James, died in Newtown. And he was there in support, what Asa Hutchinson put together in terms of school safety. I just want to play you a little bit of that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MATTIOLI, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: I think politics needs to sort of be set aside here. And I hope this doesn't, you know, lead to name calling but rather this is recommendations for solutions, real solutions that will make our kids safer. And that's what we need.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: So, when you look at what the NRA or the NRA-funded report puts out, which is a long list of things including armed guards in some schools, a pilot program on school threats and mental health, coordination with the government, and online school safety assessment, are there things in there in which both sides could stop the name calling, as he pointed out, and maybe agree to?

MALLOY: Precious little. You know, we had the wild west where everyone carried a gun. And homicide rates are pretty big. Pretty high. And in fact, in the states that have the loosest laws, they have the largest suicide rates and the largest homicide rate. So, I mean, this idea that -- Candy, I don't want to tell you your business, but bring it back to reality.

Why are they against universal background checks when 92 percent of the American public is in favor of them? If they can't answer that question -- and they can't, Candy. Hang on a second. And they can't. What this is about is the ability of the gun industry to sell as many guns to as many people as possible even if they're deranged, even if they're mentally ill, even if they have a criminal background, they don't care. They want to sell guns.

CROWLEY: And let me -- you brought that up. And I understand what you're saying here. And certainly that question has been posed to the NRA and to gun rights supporters about why they don't --

MALLOY: Yes, but you let them off the hook. You're asking me about whether everyone should carry a gun, and that's the road to safety --

CROWLEY: No, I'm asking you if --

MALLOY: -- when in fact it is not.

CROWLEY: Actually, I'm not, and I don't think that they recommended in this, that everyone should carry a gun. I'm asking you on school safety enhancements that either side could agree to.

MALLOY: Oh, sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, you shouldn't have doorway that people can shoot their way into. We proved that on December 14th or at least Adam did. Of course, there are things we can agree on. But they can't agree on anything that has anything to do with guns. That's the problem.

Tell me again, why I can't get on a plane without someone doing a background check, but I can walk into stores or to gun shows in the United States and no background check is done? It doesn't make any sense. That's why 92 percent of the American public wants to see legislation that requires universal background checks.

CROWLEY: The law you just signed has a limit on new sales of magazines to ten rounds in that magazine. It also requires registration of older clips that may carry more. What does that registration do? How does that make things safer?

MALLOY: Well, you know, I suppose it's a bit of a compromise. I would have preferred an all-out ban of magazines over ten. The legislature did not agree with me. The reason that that's important is Adam Lanza took ten 30-round magazines to a school to kill 26 people. And he would have killed a lot more if he had had the opportunity. But it's specific in that information is that he had ten-round magazines and he had 20-round magazines. He left those home.

There was a reason he brought 30-round magazines to that school. We shouldn't be selling them anymore. Quite frankly, under the law -- the federal law that expired in 2004, they weren't allowed to be sold in the United States nor were most of these weapons allowed to be sold in the United States. This is not ancient history. It's recent history, Candy.

CROWLEY: Sure. Specifically to -- I understand the limit in your argument for the limits on the magazines, but on the pre-existing magazines, those that have already been sold, how does having people register those in the state of Connecticut as required by this law, what are you attempting to do there? How does that cut down on violence?

MALLOY: So, that there are no new ones in our state. I mean, if you bring a magazine from another state that you purchased legally in another state after the date we signed this legislation into our state, we need to be able to tell the difference between the ones that pre-existed and those that are being purchased some place else, hence, the requirement for registration.

If you bring a magazine that you purchased in another state into our state, it's illegal. Period.

CROWLEY: OK. Let me ask you also about the mental health component. I know there are things in this bill to try to expand access to mental health. It seems to me that one of the giant missing pieces in what we now know about the investigation into Sandy Hook is motivation and background of this murderer.

What do we now know about Adam Lanza that can help us understand what led him to this horrific act?

MALLOY: Well, we can't ask Adam any questions, as you know. We can piece together his history. And that's being done. We know that he worked on this for a long period of time. That it was intentional that he killed his mother first, that he took highest powered weapons to the school in the car, that he took 30-round magazines and left 10s and 20s at home, that he clearly is someone who was suffering some form of mental illness.

I think we know enough. We know that he had weapons at his disposal that allowed him to get off 152 or 154 shots in less than four minutes.

CROWLEY: Have you found any evidence of any seeking of mental health help for him, anything along the way that you just look at and think, here, here, we might have been able to stop this?

MALLOY: Adam was from a family that mental health treatment was not denied to. They had the financial where with all to get whatever help they needed. And, I think we'll wait for the report to come out to go any further than that. But we're trying to do things in our state to make sure that families have access to mental health, that education professionals in schools where they're most likely to come into contact with young people who are disturbed will have the training to recognize that and will intervene.

CROWLEY: Quickly, because my time actually has run out, but I need to ask you, you have several gun makers and manufacturers in your state, other states are now courting them because of this new restrictive law. Some of them are going to make the kinds of weapons that you have banned. Do you want those companies to stay in your state?

MALLOY: You know, we've been clear. People are welcome to stay in our state as long as they're producing a product that can be sold in the United States legally. By the way, those companies have been courted over the years to move many, many times. We've been in discussions with some of those firms about their desire to move or not to move in the past.

But you know what, we've decided that the public's safety, that school children safety, that schoolteacher safety trumps all of that. I hope they stay and manufacture products that can legally be sold, but if they leave, you know, that will be a decision they make. We're not making them leave.

CROWLEY: Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut, thanks so much. After a busy week, we appreciate your time.

MALLOY: Thank you.

CROWLEY: When we return, North Korea makes a show of force threatening both South Korea and the United States. Bluster or can they deliver?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: South Korea says North Korea could conduct a missile test as early as this week. I want to bring in CNN's Jim Clancy in Seoul. Jim, we talk a lot about this tension. Can you feel it on the streets of South Korea?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, you can't. The South Korean people for the most part are going through this with a stoicism that's born of decades of experiencing this, especially during the times when there's joint U.S.-South Korean maneuvers. At the same time, South Korea's chief of national security said that the prediction is for April 10th for a launch of a medium-range missile by the North Koreans.

Everybody's been preparing for that. They say that there are signals they attribute to a couple of deadlines that the North Koreans have set, for instance, for businesses in that Kaesong Industrial Park where there's 50,000 North Korean workers alongside about 1,000 managers from South Korea.

They say every indication is that that missile is going to go up like an exclamation point behind all of these weeks of rhetoric, action to back-up the words of Pyongyang. Meantime, South Koreans are saying -- officials are saying that what the north is really doing here is trying to rattle everyone with a policy that they call the headline strategy. Let me show you an example.

This is a video that was put out by the North Koreans today showing dog trainers and an effigy of the defense minister here in South Korea, one of those North Koreans said that he deserved to be chewed up by dogs. An insult, of course, here. And the dogs, indeed, did attack him. This is the kind of thing that plays out on the news every day.

The North Koreans saw a video very much like this work last week, and so, they repeated it again today. There are some people that are hoping to tone things down.

They looked on with favor at the U.S. canceling the launch of that ICBM test launch of a minuteman three-missile, at the same time, the opposition -- the main opposition party, is calling for the President Geun-Hye to appoint a special envoy, perhaps, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, perhaps, Jimmy Carter. So, they're thinking that something should be done, but that's the opposition.

CROWLEY: Jim Clancy in Seoul tonight for us. Thanks very much.

When we return, the world reacts to nuclear threats by the new North Korean leader, but to the east, does China hold the key to getting Kim Jong-Un to end the bluster?

CROWLEY: That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Secretary of state, John Kerry, is heading to Asia later this week. He is expected to meet with leaders from South Korea, China, and Japan. North Korea will, no doubt, be high on that agenda.

With me now, former U.S. ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman. Let me ask you first the overall question (INAUDIBLE) are you going to talk about North Korea this Sunday? Should I be scared? And I said I will ask. What is your level of concern about what's going on?

HUNTSMAN: Well, I think it's fair to say, Candy, that we've heard this music before. Anyone who's watched the region. The north Koreans have a way of manipulating not just the regional headlines, but indeed, global headlines and then asking for concessions. And sadly, people step up and give concessions and that just continues the cycle.

So, here we are again. People are walking the streets of Seoul. Business is being transacted. It's pretty much business as usual, but you know, we have to stop and ponder the words and think about what could happen if a crazy man actually takes it to an extreme? And I think that's why we're seeing military assets that are being deployed in the region. It's why there's tighter coordination among our allies and even with China. All of these things need to take place as an overall backstop to the ongoing issue.

CROWLEY: The truth is we don't know very much about this new leader, do we?

HUNTSMAN: Nobody knows much about this new leader.

CROWLEY: So, we don't know what he's capable of.

HUNTSMAN: You don't know what he's capable of. You know what his father did historically, the same kind of provocative cycles. But I think what we do know for sure is that these external provocations that we have witnessed are pretty much indicative of internal political challenges, which is to say that young 29-year-old Kim Jong- Un is further trying to consolidate his power among the central military commission, among the political elite. You remember when his father, Kim Jong-Il, tried to consolidate his power back in the 1990s. You know, he blew a South Korean plane out of the sky, killing a good number of members of the South Korean cabinet. This is typical when it comes to a leader in North Korea. Remember, the Kim Family trying to consolidate power, and therefore, should come as no surprise.

But you layer on top of that, Candy, the idea that you got new leaders throughout the region. You've got President Park from South Korea, the daughter of Park Chung-hee who run the country from 1961 until his assassination in 1979 who took a very hardline against North Korea. President Park just recently ran on a more conciliatory policy.

So, now, she's having to turn things around. Is she prepared to deal with this and her new cabinet? You've got Xi Jinping, the new leader of China, who is somewhat untested in his particular realm being new to power and head of the central military commission. You've got a new leader, Shinzo Abe, in Japan, although, he's around for the second time, he's out of more of a nationalist mode, and he's going to want to show that Japan isn't willing to back down.

CROWLEY: So, new people everywhere as well as a new U.S. secretary of defense and new U.S. secretary of state. I want to -- because you brought up the new president in China, I want to get into your area of expertise. Because according to Reuters, here's something he said recently which sounds to me like it's aimed at North Korea like within the last 24 hours.

No country, quote, "should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain." What does that tell you about China's approach to North Korea?

HUNTSMAN: This is a speech that was given in Hainon (ph) just in the last couple of days, and this is rather unprecedented for the head of the party, the head of the military and the president, all one person Xi Jinping to be saying these words. And it suggests to me as I've watched the ratcheting up of frustration among Chinese leaders over the last many years, that they've probably of hit the 212-degree boiling point as it relates to North Korea.

In the old days, they didn't have anything to protect. They didn't have much of an economy. Today, they've got the second largest economy in the world.

CROWLEY: And they border for those who don't have their map out at the moment, they are right there.

HUNTSMAN: They're right there. You have the economy of Manchuria Dongbei which is right across the Yalu River, and it's a thriving entity. China has some real interests to be protected. So, when you say how do you motivate China to do the right thing with North Korea, first of all, I'm convinced they don't quite have the throughway so to speak.

CROWLEY: I was going to ask you that it's not just will they do the right thing. It seems like he's on the right rhetorical side of it, but do they have influence over this new leader?

HUNTSMAN: Well, they have economic leverage. Does the north listen to that? No. They lie and they cheat as it relates to China as well. But people do business with people. In the old days, Mao Zedong had a relationship with Kim Il-Sung. Deng Xiaoping had a relationship with Kim Il-Sung. Jiang Zemin carried that on with the son, Kim Jong-Il.

I don't think that Kim Jong-Un, the 29-year-old who's now in power, has spent any time with these leaders at all. In fact, it's probably safe to say that Dennis Rodman, the American basketball player, has probably had more face time with Kim Jong-Un than the president of China.

CROWLEY: Which is pretty -- adds kind of a scariness of all of this is that there is no communication with him even among some in China that might have some economic influence. You mentioned earlier and Jim Clancy talked about how much North Korea craves this kind of publicity, if you will, and that it always wants something in return and generally gets it.

Has the president -- has President Obama been smart about not getting into this? We've heard from the secretary of state. We've heard from the secretary of defense. And certainly, we've sent assets over the pacific, but we haven't heard from the president. Why is that?

HUNTSMAN: Well, the president, I think, is playing the right hand. And that is we've deployed a couple of aegis class destroyers with missile defense capabilities in the region. We've got ongoing military-to-military exercises with South Korea. We've scrambled some long-range bombers, B-2s and B-52s. So, militarily, we are at a level of preparedness with South Korea that is very, very good.

Of course, North Korea hates that. And, you know, beyond that the talk within the six-party context which has been an ongoing effort in the region, including North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia, Japan, and the United States, North Korea knows exactly where to go if they want to give up their nuclear program.

They know exactly where the seat is where they can sit down and begin talking about a pathway forward. So, again, I go back to the political need that clearly Kim Jong-Un has within his government a need to gain greater legitimacy ensure of support and this is all the song we have heard before. I'll just finish with this. It's important for the president to look at how you harvest the opportunities coming out of this.

What are we doing to review and shore up our bilateral alliance with Japan? What are we doing in the trilateral relationship with South Korea, Japan and the United States? And this is a huge opening, believe me, with China, because our interests for the first time in a long while are aligned. We both want to get something done and bring the level of tension down on the Korean Peninsula.

CROWLEY: Former ambassador, Jon Huntsman, thanks for your expertise.

HUNTSMAN: Thanks, Candy.

CROWLEY: When we return, inching closer to a deal on immigration reform with two of the House architects and why one of them was willing to risk jail to protect the rights of immigrants.?

And later, Hillary Clinton reemerges with plans for a new book just in time for a presidential run.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: An update from the front burner. For an issue everyone thinks will be resolved this year, immigration reform has proven illusive. Senators working on a compromise have run into headwinds.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: The "Gang of Eight," a couple of whom they thought had a deal last week is now working through the issue of foreign agricultural workers. And the rest of the Senate is getting antsy. Four Republican members of the judiciary committee sent a letter demanding to know more about what's going on in the negotiations and expressing concern that border security may not be getting enough attention.

"We should not further test the faith of the American people by implementing a major overhaul of the immigration system that prioritizes legalizing law breakers over the long-term needs of the country."

All this pushback and all this time spent in the Senate comes before what will certainly be the toughest part, getting a Democratically controlled Senate and the Republican run House (ph) to agree to the same version of reform. Last week Senate "Gang of Eight" member Lindsay Graham was bullish the Senate bill will pass muster on the other side of the hill. SEN. LINSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I believe it will pass the house because it secures our borders. It controls who (ph) get the job -

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: We will see about that with a lot less limelight, a House bipartisan group has been working on an immigration bill. And its chances for success and what two members of the house immigration team think of the Senate approach is up next with Republican congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and Democratic congressman Luis Gutierrez.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Joining me now congressman Luis Gutierrez, Democrat from Illinois, and Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida. Thank you gentlemen for coming - for coming out of the room where you've been negotiating for quite some time (INAUDIBLE) try to get together a House version.

As you watch and from what you hear about what the Senate is putting together, do you see major points of contention ahead for what you all want to do and what the Senate wants to do?

REP. MARIO DIAZ-BALART (R), FLORIDA: Who do you want to take? Look, they're doing great work. They're doing great work. The bills are going to be different no doubt about it. And as you said -- as was said in the intro, the rubber meets the road, first they got to pass out of the House, they got to pass out of the Senate, the conference committee would be difficult. But so far it looks like we're at least on the same planet. And that's a step in the right direction.

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: I think, Candy, the number one, I worked with senator McCain 2002, '03, '04 we introduced the bill. Ironically enough it was Jeff Flake and I that introduced it in the House. Now he's the Senate and he's working.

So you have McCain, he's back, he's knowledgeable and he's very clear. Right? He says it's about politics, right? It's about getting it done. Responding to the election on November the 6th. And Dick Durbin, Bob Menendez and Graham, these are all very knowledgeable people. They're going to put together a plan.

CROWLEY: Sure, but what they can get passed and what you all can get passed are hugely different probably because one's the Senate dominated by Democrats, the House, Republicans. Where do you look at -- the two of you look at each other and go, I don't know whether we can come together on this.

GUTIERREZ: I am very, very optimistic that the House of Representatives is going to have a plan that is going to be able to go to a conference with the Senate in which we're going to be able to resolve differences. CROWLEY: For instance, will your plan tie together border security and putting undocumented workers on a pathway towards legalization of some sort? Do you see those things tied?

DIAZ-BALART: Candy, you can't have a bill without border security. You just can't. In the first place, you know -

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: The argument's always been which comes first, right?

DIAZ-BALART: Go ahead.

GUTIERREZ: I think we can do them simultaneously. One thing I have a lot of confidence is what we're doing -- a lot of people say rush, rush, rush. Why can't you get it? You know something, the first thing you have to do when you have four Republicans and four Democrats who agree on virtually nothing else and who argue and fight and debate about everything else, you have to create a sense of trust and camaraderie that exists as you develop such on an issue like this. Having said that, I think first thing we're going to do is we're going to put people in a safe place. That is 11 million people, you can give them a work permit, Social Security card, a driver's license.

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: Sure. That's what legalization -

(CROSSTALK)

GUTIERREZ: And then the second part is the path to the green card, that permanent residency which leads to citizenship.

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: But as you know, what conservatives in particular and there are many of them in the House say is the last time we did immigration reform under Ronald Reagan what happened was we put everybody on, you know, amnesty as they called it at that point. And we never saw the border get secured. So is it going to be enough for you to say to your House Republican colleagues we're going to do at the same time?

DIAZ-BALART: Well here's the issue. It's not only that. Because that is true. What you just said, that's exactly what happened after the '86 legalization. So, no, there has to be a real, not lip service, a real serious order and interior security component of this. We do not want to be -- we don't want to go through this effort to be in the same place five or 10 years down the road. And therefore we have to learn from the mistakes of the past. Part of it is border security. Part of it is interior security. We have to modernize the visa system, the visa program, so that people could legally apply to come to the United States, which is why all of it has to be fixed. It is broken from A to Z. We have to fix it.

(CROSSTALK) GUTIERREZ: And I think the difference between what Mario and I and others are doing today than 1986, Candy, is 1986 was amnesty. Basically show up, get a green card. That is not what we are doing now. Here's what we're doing differently now.

CROWLEY: Certainly the promise of it. I mean what people are talking about is, OK, but you're still well ahead of people trying to do this on a legal basis if you're sitting here in this country without documents.

GUTIERREZ: We are confronting a reality. Census.org says it's 1,400 a day. Everybody agrees it's 1,200 a day deportations. We understand who these families are most of them have been here more than 10 years, Candy, most of them live with children. Eighty percent American citizen children and what do they have? Undocumented.

This is a tragedy in America. It's a devastating effect and that is what is pulling us together to get this done, saving those families, number one. But it isn't amnesty. The reason it isn't amnesty is, number one, we don't put them at the front of the line. Number two, we have a verification system now, I believe one of the guiding principles that we have is in America a job that is created in America should go to an American first that is born here. I'll say that again. Born here, American should always have first crack. But having said that, there are opportunities for others to work in America. And we need to have those (INAUDIBLE) workers here. And we need to treat them well.

CROWLEY: I want to take advantage of you all being here on a couple other subjects, but my last question and correct this figure if it's wrong. But I'm told about 40 percent of the undocumented workers or immigrants that we have here now simply overstayed their visa.

DIAZ-BALART: Right (ph).

CROWLEY: So this isn't a question of you securing the border. This is a question of finding people once their visa expires. Is there something that would work?

GUTIERREZ: Yes. A verification system. Look, the same Social Security card my grand dad got in the 1930s, that my dad got, that I got, that then my children got that now my grandson, Luisito (ph), got that same Social Security, he's going to take it out of the perforation. Come on. We can do better than that in terms of verifying that who is working in America is eligible to work in America.

DIAZ-BALART: It's an issue of will. Not technology. We can secure the borders. We can secure internally. We can modernize our visa system. We can deal with the issue of the 11 or 10 million that are here. It's an issue of will. Luckily I think now there's bipartisan will to get it done. And the question is, will there be an agreement? I think there will be.

CROWLEY: There will be an agreement. When are we going to see your bill, the House bill? DIAZ-BALART: As we said, our concern is -- it's got to be done this year. But our concern is to get it done well, not quickly.

CROWLEY: So a week, two weeks, six months?

GUTIERREZ: I'm very optimistic that our group is going to work and get back from the recesses we've been talking, during the recess we've been working. Candy, you know better than most simply because we're not in Washington, D.C. it doesn't mean that work ceases here. We are going to continue to work. I expect very, very soon for that proposal to come forward. But I do want to stress that this is a comprehensive approach to our immigration system.

CROWLEY: Everything's tied together.

GUTIERREZ: They are tied together.

DIAZ-BALART: Whether they like it or not, it's tied together.

CROWLEY: Let me ask you quickly, do you think at the end of this process and how you see it shaping up that you are going to be able to deliver the majority of Republicans in your caucus? Or will you rely on some Republicans and a majority of Democrats?

DIAZ-BALART: No, no. For this to happen, it has to be a bipartisan effort. And that's why we have spent so much time, we've done it quietly, we've done it, frankly, I mean quietly. Really. Working, working, working to see if we can come up with a bipartisan effort. It will not happen, Candy, if it's not truly bipartisan.

GUTIERREZ: You have seen over the months us working on this issue. And you haven't heard, read about or heard about the leak. Our commitment is --

CROWLEY: You've been good on the leak.

GUTIERREZ: We've been very, very good about getting that done because we want a product. Because what is motivating us is resolving the problem and the issue. And I want to say to my colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle, they're going to have people that are going to come to -- when this proposal is put forward, here's what you're going to have here before you. People saying that Luis Gutierrez didn't do a good enough job and that Mario didn't do a good enough job, but in the end it is going to be the job that the American people sent us to get done.

CROWLEY: Congressmen, I've got to go. I hope you will come back when you got this in your package out there. And if you'd lighten up and let some leaks come out, we'd appreciate it.

(LAUGHTER)

Thank you.

Coming up next, her 2008 presidential run has been called a viper's nest and a money pit of the campaign. Will she make another run in 2016? Hillary Clinton steps back in the spotlight as a private citizen next.

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CROWLEY: With me now, "Time" magazine executive editor, Mike Duffy, and Amy Walter, national editor of the "Political Report." Thank you for joining us. Let's start with Hillary Clinton because we can't get enough of it, can we?

AMY WALTER, POLITICAL ANALYST, COOK POLITICAL REPORT: We can't stop ourselves.

CROWLEY: And a Maureen Dowd column caught my attention this morning which she wrote of Hillary Clinton. "Did she learn from her viper's nest and money pit of a campaign in 2008, how to manage an enterprise rather than be swamped by rampant dysfunction? Did she learn when she wrapped herself in an off-putting and opaque mantle of entitlement in the primary that, she's perfectly capable of charming reporters and voters if she wants to, without the obnoxious undertone of 'I'm owed this'"? So it got me to thinking. WALTER: Subtle. CROWLEY: It is -- I've been on the she's not going to run side for some time, and I'm going to be consistently wrong. I mean that's better than changing your mind. So, what, what's going to tell you she's running? What are you looking for over the next 18 months?

DUFFY: Well it's tough because she's inevitable and she has to go through the process of seeming not to be inevitable, which is very difficult in her position because the field is kind of weak other than Hillary, I think she is running and it's what they do and she's had two speeches this week. A paid speech in Dallas on the eve of the Bush library opening in 10 days. A group is raising money in her name and yet she has to spend the next three years pretending not to be inevitable. It's tough. Very tough challenge.

CROWLEY: Well sometimes pretending not to be a candidate. Are you on the, yes, she's running mode.

WALTER: I'm going to guess she's running. And look - it's OK. But I guess the question is, yes, she's running. Is there time for somebody else to come in and be that sort of surprise candidate, like we saw, of course, with somebody named Barack Obama, who - yes, apparently, did quite well in that primary.

CROWLEY: But is there a Barack Obama out there that you can see that would steal the limelight?

WALTER: The question really is, this is what you hear even from some folks who are pro Hillary is right now she's at the very, very top. She and Bill Clinton, of course, most popular politicians in America right now. They have a long way to go before we hit 2016. She's not going to be the new, new thing by then. What is helping her is the fact that there is no obvious mark of diversity out there. There's no other women, there's no other person of color on the Democratic side who is that new spark that could (INAUDIBLE) her.

CROWLEY: Right. That sort of embraces the diversity of the Democratic Party. WALTER: That's right.

DUFFY: And one thing (INAUDIBLE) our columnist, she still does have her husband, you know, he's a complicated partner, as a campaigner. So we'll see if they can solve that, as well. But she's in a much stronger position than she was the first time around. CROWLEY: Let me move you to the president's budget that is coming out. We are already told there are going to be some things he will embrace, including some reform in Social Security and Medicare, which mean cuts. The reform generally means cuts. He's immediately hit by the left, which I contend helps him. Is he looking for a compromise with Republicans? Or at this point do we have to say, is this about next year?

DUFFY: I actually think that this is a sweet spot. The fifth year of an eight-year term is one of the moments when you get something done. He looks like he's swinging a little bit for history here. And you can see a path. It's narrow. You kind of have to squint to see it. You can see a path --

CROWLEY: Towards the big deal, that's what you're talking about.

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DUFFY: -- that he has tried this. You can see where they can come up with Democratic votes and just enough Republicans. Democrats have to bite their tongue in entitlements. Republicans would have to say, (INAUDIBLE) enough to sort of go for some tax, you know, tax hikes. But there is a path, it's not wide, but he could do this sometime in the next year.

WALTER: And the question, too, is, what happens with the sequester? Thus far all the bluster has sort of fallen flat. Nothing happened that Democrats or the president -

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CROWLEY: Patients aren't getting their cancer drugs and it's beginning to --

WALTER: And that's the positioning not just for this budget, and for a big grand bargain, which I still think is going to be very difficult to get. But what about even if we have to get to the immediate, which is another debt ceiling vote here coming up very soon. I think that's the immediate. Get that off the table and at least showing that you're willing to compromise a little bit may help. But at the end of the day, there are a whole bunch of Republicans who said, the president said the sky was falling on sequestration. It hasn't happened. We told the president we'll have no more tax increases. He put it in his budget, no way, we're not compromising.

CROWLEY: That's no way, no how. Let me ask you about the jobs report that came out, 88,000. First of all, economists stopped predicting what the jobs report was going to say because they always look worst or better because they're never right. Nonetheless, 88,000 jobs. About half of what they thought it would be. DUFFY: Less than half, yes.

CROWLEY: And the jobless rate went down, but only because like 500,000 people left the job force. How does that play into the debt talks? How does that play into the budget talks? DUFFY: Well, it was a dismal report. There is really disappointing and it comes at a moment when I think the White House would really like us to start thinking this is what we're going it be seeing more and more of here if sequestration is allowed to continue. And by the way, the thing to remember is most of the cuts in the furloughs have not yet begun to bite on sequestration. They're only just now and of course as a consequence we now also see people say, maybe we ought not to close those air traffic control towers. So we're getting you ready for a whole round of, maybe on second thought, we ought not to do this.

But I think this complicates the White House's political and economic strategy a little bit because they would like to nurse this recovery, keep it going. At the very moment when they're both beginning to feel the effects of sequestration, some of which is measured in the job report not much. And they're also now talking about a larger budget deal which will also have some spending increases, but mostly cuts.

WALTER: That goes to the legacy question, too. This is a president, who of course, wants to be able to leave behind an economy that is growing. Well and an economy that is growing that he can say, I came in in 2008 at the very depths, I'm leaving with it, on its way up and the only thing standing in my way is congress.

CROWLEY: Is congress. Which is why he would like to have a Democratic Congress next year. So, Amy Walter, Mike Duffy, thank you both for coming by.

When we return, one of our guests today dropped out of high school to become a rock musician. We'll find out why, next.

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CROWLEY: He is a former governor, former ambassador, former presidential candidate and also a former rock musician and high school dropout. We got to learn a little bit more today about Jon Huntsman.

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JON HUNSTMAN (R), FORMER UTAH GOVERNOR: I've been junior class president and ran for senior class president and lost, I ran for another office and lost. So I was a proverbial school loser and, you know, you get senioritis towards the end of your senior year and, you know, I had a couple of incomplete classes because I was focused more on music and trying to make a career out of being a musician.

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CROWLEY: For our full getting to know interview with Jon Huntsman head to CNN.com/sotu.

Thank you so much for watching today. If you missed any part of the show, find us on iTunes. Just search STATE OF THE UNION.

Fareed Zakaria, GPS is next for our viewers here in the United States.